Why it’s time to embrace the idea of computing in the cloud.
In the public sector, cloud computing is no longer new or novel. It’s a reality that surrounds us every day. Many studies have shown both public and private cloud adoption has increased significantly over the past few years. Support of cloud computing is as high as 92% in public and private sectors.
But, until recently, the idea of cloud computing in government has been slow to catch on. Major factors behind this change include lower operating costs, more robust security protocols, and increased flexibility. The cloud has been a great place to run a business, and now, an excellent option for public safety agencies.
Before we get into the benefits, an agency can gain in adopting cloud infrastructure, let’s look into what cloud computing is.
What is cloud computing?
The term “cloud computing” describes hardware and software delivered to a user via a network. Simply put, cloud computing is the transfer of computer services, including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, and analytics over the Internet or “the cloud.”
It offers faster innovation, resource flexibility, the ability to scale quickly and economically. The premiss of cloud computing is the primary usage taking place is on a machine, other than the one the user is on. Remote access to servers in different, secure locations is the core principle of cloud computing. By hosting these on cloud servers, it frees up memory and computing power of single computers.
Benefits of life in the cloud
Here is a shortlist of benefits a public safety agency can expect with adopting software deployed in the cloud.
1. Cost Efficiency
Utilizing cloud-based software means your agency doesn’t have to spend vast amounts of capital to purchase and maintain equipment. You don’t have to invest in facilities, hardware, or the build-out of a large data center. You don’t need a large IT team to handle deployment, fixes, and updates of the software. Since downtime is rare in cloud-based systems, you can reduce inefficiency because your staff can’t access the application.
2. Data Security
One of the major concerns for public safety agencies, regardless of size, is the security of the data they have. Data breaches can have long-term effects on any agency, including the public’s perception of their ability to safeguard data.
Cloud computing offers advanced security protocols to ensure data is securely stored and handled. Companies like Tracwire, Inc go even further, deploying its platform in the AWS GovCloud, which is used by hundreds of US Federal Government agencies to secure their data.
Legacy software applications are challenging and time-consuming for IT staff and end-users. Updates are often sent out on CD-ROM or executable files via the Internet. Then, IT staff has to install the updates one computer at a time; this is a waste of time and resources. Then, end-users must ensure they are using a machine with the proper version of the software installed.
In contrast, web-based software applications are available by any user with access to a web browser. Using the software on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones are fast and easy. Furthermore, when updates are available for the application, they are “pushed” through, and the next time a user logs in, the software update is available.
4. Disaster Recovery
Data loss is a significant concern for any agency. When legacy network systems fail or, worse, are destroyed, the data they collect is often unrecoverable.
However, if your data is stored in the cloud, it remains available for any computer with an internet connection. Data can also be stored redundantly in different regions of the United States. So, if in the event one server goes down, you have access to your data from a different server.
Putting it all together
Cloud computing, in the government sector, is on the rise, and it doesn’t take long to understand why. Agencies recognize the benefits of cloud computing and what impact it can have on their ability to serve their communities. By using cloud-based solutions, public safety agencies can prevent long term problems that plague agencies that rely solely on on-premises infrastructure.
If you have questions about how Tracwire can help your agency, contact us today.